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Leibovitz, Annie (Photographer) & Sontag, Susan (Subject). A PHOTOGRAPHER'S LIFE: 1990-2005. New York City, NY: Random House, 2006. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 472 pages. Fine/Fine.

Exhibition Monograph. Retrospective collection of photographs. One of the most beautiful photography books of our time. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a regular first print run as a hardcover original only that sold out shortly after publication. The First Edition is now scarce. A brilliant production by Annie Leibovitz and Jeff Streeper: Oversize-volume format. A tall and thick book that weighs 10 pounds. Blue cloth boards with titles embossed on cover and spine, as issued. Photographs and text by Annie Leibovitz. Printed on pristine-white, thick coated stock paper in Italy to the highest standards. In pictorial DJ with titles on the cover and spine, as issued. Published on the occasion of the retrospective exhibition of the same name held at The Brooklyn Museum from October 10, 2006 through January 21, 2007. The show travelled on to museums in San Diego, Atlanta, Washington, and San Francisco, The Maison Europennee de la Photographie Paris, and The National Portrait Gallery London. Presents Annie Leibovitz's "A Photographer's Life: 1990-2005". The most famous photographer in the world has emphasized: "I don't have two lives. This is one life, the personal pictures and the assignment work are all part of it". Perhaps, yet still, the resulting collection feels like two very different books in one massive volume: The first is her iconic oeuvre as THE preeminent photographer of celebrities of our time: Nicole Kidman, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Michael Jordan, Patti Smith, Nelson Mandela, Jack Nicholson, Bill Gates, and Leonardo diCaprio, among so many others, are all here. The second is her intimate, heartbreaking, and soulful photo-narrative of her private life with Susan Sontag, the most famous American intellectual of the last quarter of the 20th century. The former is a work of joy and celebration; the latter, of sorrow and mourning. They are shown side-by-side, uneasily, unsentimentally, and unsparingly. A uniquely charismatic and well-known American politician once told Sontag that when the time came, he simply wanted to go quietly. Sontag replied that, on the contrary, she herself wanted to experience her death (because, paradoxically, she feared dying and believed in fighting for her life to the bitter end). The book shows that Leibovitz was with her the whole time, taking photographs. Never in recent memory has the process of dying been told with such painful directness. The once-beautiful, glamorous, and formidable Sontag is shown in all her vulnerability: Visibly in pain, holding back the tears, emaciated, curled like a foetus in her hospital bed, cadaverous on a stretcher, and finally, a bloated corpse. Still, there is a hopeful ending: Leibovitz's photographs of her three daughters, Sarah, Samuelle, and Susan, are luminous. The Brooklyn show attracted huge crowds. Its accompanying monograph remains Annie Leibovitz's best book, capturing a life in full. An absolute "must-have" title for Annie Leibovitz and Susan Sontag collectors. This copy is very boldly and beautifully signed in black ink-pen on the half-title page by Annie Leibovitz. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a bookplate, as many copies online are. This title is a contemporary photography classic. This is one of very few signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Copies available online command as much as $750 even though some of them have serious flaws. This is an accessible and lovely alternative. A rare signed copy thus. 300 plates. One of the finest living American photographers. A fine collectible copy. . ISBN 0375505091. $300.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on March 24, 2017.